Examples of Word for Word Translations and their objectives
Revised Standard Version. (RSV) First published in 1946 in the New Testament and 1952 in the Old Testament, it has received mixed reviews. Several unfortunate translations of key verses have tainted it with charges of liberalism. This is rather unfortunate because, on balance, the version is an admirable attempt to balance fidelity of translation in a formal manner and beauty of language.
The Revised Standard Version has been updated to include changes in the available source text and to update the language. Many are convinced that this version is the most up to date in biblical scholarship.
New King James Version (NKJV), released in 1982, involving 119 contributors. It updates the vocabulary and grammar of the King James Version, while preserving the classic style and beauty. Although it uses the same Hebrew and Greek texts as the original, it indicates where other manuscripts differ.
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) - published in 1989. While following the literal tradition of the RSV, the NRSV eliminates much of the archaic language. One distinctive is the use of gender inclusive pronouns to replace male pronouns when the original writers meant both men and women. The NRSV does not change masculine pronouns referring to God, however.
English Standard Version (ESV), an "essentially new literal translation," which follows the tradition of the King James, American Standard Version, and Revised Standard Version. Published in 2001 it was developed by a translation team of more than 100 scholars, with the goal of being very accurate (word for word), and yet very readable. It has become quite popular, as it is more readable than other literal translations.
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